accommodation to change: A stockpile of emptiness builds up and, not being recognized, not lived through in bereavement, feeds the frantic pace. Then, "wiped out," the cycle begins anew. To refuse energy in the name of poverty makes celebration possible. To be thus impoverished is a condition no commodity can enrich; only the gifts that come freely in celebration can answer such poverty. In this celebration of the loss of the flesh and the familiar we find that we are reflected, not in the chrome and glass of downtown, the coffins of vampires, but in the bums and bag ladies looking in the trash cans or, hands outstretched, asking for a gift.
They teach us how to be poor. Ask for a gift. Gifts are not scarce commodities. They are always essentially plentiful. With arms outstretched, backs turned to the temples of scarcity, we celebrate: "A festival is essentially a phenomenon of wealth; not, to be sure, the wealth of money, but of existential richness. Absence of calculation, in fact lavishness, is one of its elements." 40
Thus enfleshed and impoverished, we celebrate our losses, not nostalgic for the past, not enthralled with the brave new world. In enacting grief for ourselves and our world, we take up a place, stepping from white noise with its swirling winds and fast lanes. Our place is filled with modern junk, surrounded by noise and speed, with fleshless energized calm vampires, but a place, nonetheless, in which to bury the dead.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Anthropology of Medicine:From Culture to Method. Edition: 3rd. Contributors: Lola Romanucci-Ross - Editor, Daniel E. Moerman - Editor, Laurence R. Tancredi - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 302.